July 12, 2018 | David F. Coppedge

“It Evolved” Is Not an Explanation

A Darwinian can stare at evidence for intelligent design all day and conclude, without batting an eye, “evolution did it.” Look at these examples.

A favorite attack by atheists is to accuse creationists of giving up on science, and just saying, “God did it.” That attack cuts both ways. Saying “It evolved” gives up on science even more, as the following news items demonstrate.

The clownfish is unaffected by the stinging cells of a sea anemone (Corel Pro Photos)

The sea anemone, an animal that hides its complexity well (Science Daily). Observe this opening paragraph. It sounds like a tribute to wise design until the last sentence.

Despite its apparent simplicity — a tube-like body topped with tentacles -, the sea anemone is actually a highly complex creature. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, in collaboration with the CNRS, have just discovered over a hundred different cell types in this small marine invertebrate as well as incredible neuronal diversity. This surprising complexity was revealed when the researchers built a real cell atlas of the animal. Their findings, which will add to discussions on how cells have diversified and developed into organs during evolution, have been published in the journal Cell.

It must be understood that, in Darwinese, the verb developed is often used as a synonym for evolved. The assumption of mindless, unguided innovation of “organs” is buried within the word, making this rhetorical tactic a form of obfuscation or equivocation. With that in mind, look at the surprise they found in the humble sea anemone:

The sea anemone Nematostella vectensis … is a small marine invertebrate that is easy to keep in the laboratory and whose genome is simple enough to study its workings and close enough to that of humans for conclusions to be drawn. “When the sea anemone genome was sequenced in 2007, scientists discovered that it was very similar to the human genome, both in terms of the number of genes (roughly 20,000) and its organization, explains Heather Marlow, a specialist in developmental biology in the (Epi)genomics of Animal Development Unit at the Institut Pasteur and the main author of this study. These similarities make the sea anemone an ideal model for studying the animal genome and understanding interactions existing between genes.” It also has another advantage — its strategic position in the tree of life. The cnidaria branch that anemones belong to separated from the bilateria branch, in other words from most other animals, including humans, over 600 million years ago. “The anemone can therefore also help us to understand the origin and evolution of the multiple cell types making up the bodies and organs of animals, and particularly their nervous systems,” sums up Heather Marlow.

Superman could hardly leap over taller buildings in a single bound. As many genes as a human? Organized in a similar way? 100 cell types, coordinated in an animal body plan complete with a nervous system? Cnidarians, which include jellyfish, anemones and corals, appear for certain in the Cambrian Explosion. Claims of Precambrian cnidarians depend on indirect evidence, such as trace fossils or ‘molecular clock’ dating methods. Cnidarians are very different from sponges and ctenophores, the other Darwinian candidates for earliest animal. To assume that a sea anemone “evolved” without saying how all its cell types appeared in the same creature is equivalent to believing in a miracle. Then add the twenty or so other animal body plans that “developed” at the same time, and it becomes clear that saying “it evolved” amounts to fogma, not understanding.

Off/on switch for DNA repair protein (Science Daily). DNA repair is a complex operation involving numerous sophisticated proteins and processes that must work together. The BAD act [Bluffing Assertion of Darwinism] is right in the first sentence in this article: “Damage to DNA is a daily occurrence but one that human cells have evolved to manage.” It’s equivalent to saying that power line repairmen or fire departments appeared by random, blind processes. A repair operation needs to recognize a fault and have the tools and instructions to fix it. If an atheist were to be offended by the explanation, “God did it,” would the answer “Chance did it” represent an improvement? We know that intelligence can create repair systems. Where has chance ever done that?

Competitive team sports shaped the physical and psychological skills of early humans (Science Daily). Another science dilly comes from the University of Oregon, where Darwinists tell a quite typical just-so story:

Competitive team games in which men test their mettle against others are universal across the world, and may have deep roots in our evolutionary past. Among hunter-gatherers, these games enable men to hone their physical skills and stamina, assess the commitment of their team members, and see how each performs under pressure. All these activities suggest motivation to practise skills involved in lethal raiding, says Michelle Scalise Sugiyama of the University of Oregon in the US, lead author of a study in Springer’s journal Human Nature.

Play behavior in humans and other animals is thought to have evolved as a way to develop, rehearse, and refine skills that are critical for survival or reproduction. Chase games, for instance, build stamina and speed, which is helpful for evading predators. Similarly, play fighting is believed to develop skills used in actual fighting. Although many animals play fight, only people do so in teams. The study’s findings suggest that team play fighting is not a recent invention of agricultural societies.

This may sound plausible until you think about it. All kinds of questions present themselves. Why did games enable men to hone their skills? What about women’s sports? Why are people different from all other animals? Why didn’t human ancestors just climb higher in the trees or go deeper in caves? Did the NFL and NBA evolve by natural selection? If that is the explanation, what gene mutated in a pre-sport ancestor? Are sportsmen the only ones who pass on their genes? Perceptive readers will notice the reporter’s high perhapsimaybecouldness index and use of Tontological statements, like “is thought to have evolved” and “is believed to develop skills.” Who would have thought of such things, much less believed them? Answer: lazy Darwinians.

 

Glia and axons: A match made in evolution (Medical Xpress). If you want to learn about a cell type that defies evolution, consider the neuron. Lined with rapid-firing ion channels that convey electrical currents down its dendrites and axons, then converts them to chemical neurotransmitters across synapses using complicated packaging processes – and does this lighting fast (consider how quickly your brain learns you stubbed your toe) – the neuron is a marvel of complexity superior to human technology. Plus, it grows from an information code in the genome, and can make copies of itself. And yet this article audaciously gives all the credit to Darwin, saying, “The larger size of axons in adult lamprey compared to the larval stage may enable rapid signal transmission, suggesting that myelin may have evolved to achieve similarly fast neuronal communication in the much smaller axons of jawed vertebrates.” Understand that the evolutionists here are not just suggesting that myelin evolved as an improvement on a created design; to them, the whole shebang evolved from bottom up, just the way the cnidarian “evolved” a nervous system. Like Lewontin remarked, they must not let a Divine foot in the door.

Illustra Media: FlightHow evolution builds the most efficient airfoils (Phys.org). Chris Packham, still angry at fellow humans for causing extinctions (see 9 July 2018), shows his true colors as a Darwin storyteller. Many not yet inebrieted by Darwine can look to birds as marvels of design. Given the demands of overcoming gravity with powered flight, considering all the systems that must contribute to that function (as told in Illustra’s film Flight: The Genius of Birds), powered flight would seem to many to represent an all-or-nothing challenge to Darwinism. Enter the unfeigned faith of the moyboy evolutionist: “Over millions of years, the morphology of these animals evolved for maximally efficient cruising,” Packham yarns. Later, he BAD-ly asserts, “the animals selected as the fittest have evolved to a narrow range of highly efficient parameters.” In fact, he points out, fish and birds have arrived at nearly the best trade-off between competing constraints. Evolution News sees optimization theory as a branch of intelligent design science in action. Packham just throws up his hands and assumes, “It evolved.”

Creation and evolution appear to be at a standoff: “God did it” vs “It evolved.” But consider: creation has a cause – intelligence – that is well known to be necessary and sufficient for organizing material into complex systems. What does evolution have? Chance (the Stuff Happens Law). That is the denial of causality.

But is creation a “science stopper,” as evolutionists often allege? That argument cuts both ways, too: “It evolved” is a lazy way out of scientific explanation. Actually, belief in creation has a long history of stimulating excellent science (see our Biographies). They may believe in God as Creator as a final cause, but are often eager to learn how things work, and how God did it. Do evolutionists give the same diligence to explaining how chance made complex systems ‘arise’ or ‘develop’ or ’emerge’? (Pick your favorite euphemism for Stuff Happens.) Once you attribute the origin of something to sheer dumb luck, there’s not much more to say.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If “God did it” is too simplistic for an evolutionist, “It evolved” is too simplistic for a creationist. Don’t let the Darwinians pretend to have a superior explanation for the origin of complex systems. When they discuss the origin of a complex phenomenon and take the lazy way out (assuming evolution in a BAD way), press them for details, using their own theory. What gene mutated? What did it do? When did it happen? How did the gene spread through the population? (See the article on population genetics by Sanford and Basener, 22 Dec 2017). How frequently do beneficial mutations happen relative to neutral and harmful mutations? Are there enough beneficials to overcome the downward spiral of genetic entropy? Did the mutation have any deleterious pleiotropic effects? Were coordinated mutations required? How long would that take? (see Living Waters conclusion). Have you calculated the probability? Is there enough time in the universe for that to occur? Do 747’s evolve from tornadoes in junkyards? Pile it on till they cry uncle and admit, “I have no idea. I just take Darwin on faith.”

Illustration by J. Beverly Greene for CEH.

 

Comments

  • John C says:

    God did it–It evolved. Reminds me of a Miller Lite Beer Commercial–‘Tastes Great! Less Filling!’ Although in that case, our evo friends would have to admit that beer was intelligently designed.

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